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How Successfully Does Shakespeare Present To An Audience Henry As The 'Ideal King'

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How Successfully Does Shakespeare Present To An Audience Henry As The 'Ideal King' In this essay I will show you how successfully Shakespeare presents to an audience Henry as the 'ideal king'. In this essay I will first examine the historical context of the play (what actually happened), then I will discuss how Shakespeare portrayed Henry in the play compared to the real Henry and how successfully did Shakespeare present to an audience Henry as the 'ideal king'. Third I will demonstrate how Shakespeare is able to show these events on a stage. Finally I will end the essay with my own conclusion of how successfully Shakespeare presents to an audience Henry as the 'ideal king'. In reality the king at the time Henry did not have a right to the throne of France- after all he had no right to that of England's either- but it was an ineluctably traditional claim: a real king in England was obliged to pretend to the throne of France. When countries went to war it brought the country together and Henry partly wanted to do this and of course partly wanted to be the ruler of France. According to the legend, the war displayed Henry's military genius. Really it was a story of gambler's luck. Henry V, aged 28, set sail from Southampton, UK on 11 August, 1415, with a fleet of about 300 ships to claim his birthright of the Duchy of Normandy. ...read more.


This evidence was the theory of France as the Archbishop of Canterbury advices Henry: "Then hear me, gracious sovereign, and you peers, That owe yourselves, your lives and services. To this imperial throne. There is no bar To make against your highness' claim to France But this which they produce from Pharamond" Henry also went to war with France because of an event Shakespeare invented in the play as to give a legit excuse of the king going to war to show the audience as Henry being the 'ideal king' In scene 2 Shakespeare invented a scene where Henry is given a gift by the French Ambassador. The gift given to Henry is a 'tun' of tennis balls. This is an insult to Henry and he reacts badly and decides to invade France as punishment, as Shakespeare write: "This jest with savour but of shallow wit! When thousands weep more than did laugh at" In real events this did not happen and Shakespeare invents this as to give Henry an 'excuse' to invade France and to present to the audience Henry as an 'ideal king' who does not like being mocked at! In act 2 there is an introduction of the 'minor' characters Nym, Pistol, Bardolph etc. These were friends of Henry's before he became king. In this scene we are shown the death of Falstaff. He was one of the most popular characters on the stage. ...read more.


The chorus reads of how the English are outnumbered but Henry gives them encouragement in the night: "A little touch of Harry in the night. And so our scene must to the battle fly; Where-O for pity-we shall much disagree With four or five most vile and ragged foils, Right ill disposed in brawl ridiculous, The name of Agincourt. Yet sit and see, Minding true things by what their mock'ries be." In the final act the chorus sets the scene for Henry's return to England, after defeating the French and becoming ruler of France and also finding a wife for himself: "To welcome him! Much more, and more more cause, Did they this Harry. Now in London place him. As yet the lamentation of the French Invites the King of England's stay at home; The Emperor's coming in behalf of France" I have analysed the essay question and have come to a conclusion. I think Shakespeare was very successful to portraying Henry as an 'ideal king'. Shakespeare may have 'invented' some parts in the play but this is all to the audiences liking and I thought the play was marvellous! Shakespeare's use of a narrator is a very clever invention as portraying the battle scenes on the stage at Shakespeare's time was very hard, but the use of a narrator eradicates this feature and helps the audience see the scenes more clearly. Adam Laher Batley High School For Boys ...read more.

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